Low Cost Affordability Driving Growth in Indian Wearable Market

This entry level segment is dominated by fitness trackers from vendors like Goqii and Xiaomi while Intex shipments shrunk in CY Q4 2016.

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By Nidhi Singh


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The wearable technology continues to evolve rapidly, with people getting more conscious for their health and well-being. From smartwatch to the fitness tracker, wearables are making their way to become a mainstream product in the global market. On one hand, wearables like smartwatch and fitness bands are helping people monitor their daily activity and pushing them to exercise. Whereas, other wearable technologies like smart glasses have a feature of reflecting projected digital images as well as allowing the user to see through it. The smart glasses can do much more than giving data or taking photo and video.

If your startup is considering exploring the wearable space, then this might be the best time to do that. We've already seen Stridalyzer Smart Insoles by ReTiSense, Cooey Body Fat Analyzer and SenseGiz Star but there are still many startups which are taking technology to next level.

Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a report that the wearable market in India observed the total shipments of 2.5 million units in 2016.

Total wearable shipment in Q4 2016 was 675000 units which include both smart wearables that can run third-party apps and basic wearables which can't. In terms of price, <$50 segment continues to dominate the category accounting for 73 percent of total wearable shipments in CY Q4 2016. This entry level segment is dominated by fitness trackers from vendors like Goqii and Xiaomi while Intex shipments shrunk in CY Q4 2016. Due to its low-cost affordability factor, this price segment saw many first-time buyers experimenting with this relatively new form factor in the market. The report stated that devices in this price segment have seen drastic changes in terms of features over the last few years.

Talking about the leading players in the Indian wearable market, Goqii was ruling with 15.5 per cent market share, followed by Xiaomi at 13.2 per cent and FitBit with 7.9 per cent for the quarter. The report highlighted key factors behind the growing popularity of brands.

GOQii's Real USP Lies in Connectivity to Doctors and Trainers : GOQii retained its position back to rule Indian wearable market with 15.5 percent share. Recently, the company became the third Indian startup after Flipkart and Paytm to feature as a Harvard case study. The fitness tracker device backed by integrated service ecosystem like a personal trainer, doctor, diagnostic has been a unique selling point for the vendor. Over 60 percent of GOQii's shipments come from commercial segment which is relatively higher compared to other vendors in India.

Mi band 2 is the Highest Selling Heart Rate Sensing Fitness Tracker : China's Xiaomi slipped to second position with 13.2 percent vendor share as shipments declined 29.9 percent in Q4 2016 over previous quarter. The company is into manufacturing phones, wearables, accessories, air purifiers, etc. Replacing the first gen Mi band, Mi band 2 with display unit and heart rate sensor launched in September solely drives Xiaomi's shipments in this quarter which continues to be online exclusive. In fact, Mi band 2 is the highest selling heart rate sensing fitness tracker in India in Q4 2016.

Fitbit Using Price Discounts to Grow Revenue: US-based Fitbit moved up to third place in Q4 2016 as shipments grew 21.2 percent sequentially. Growth in the commercial segment, price discounts on certain devices are few key factors that drove Fitbit's growth. Fitbit has balanced channel presence with offline contributing to almost half of its sales while online is exclusively catered by Amazon.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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